Jahlil Okafor Reportedly Prefers to Be Traded to Chicago Bulls

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2017

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 26: Jahlil Okafor #8 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on December 26, 2016 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor may be one of the biggest pieces moved prior to Thursday's 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline, and his reported preference is to land with his hometown team.

According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, the Windy City native is hopeful the Sixers will deal him to the Chicago Bulls.

The 2015 No. 3 overall pick out of Duke has been linked to multiple teams in recent weeks leading up to the deadline.

Philly was closing in on a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans earlier in the month, per Sam Amick of USA Today. That fell through, however, and New Orleans instead acquired DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings.

According to ESPN.com, the Indiana Pacers have expressed interest in Okafor as well. And the Bulls were working on striking a deal for the 21-year-old as of Wednesday night, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

The Sixers seem likely to sell off Okafor to the highest bidder in order to ease a logjam in the frontcourt that also includes Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Richaun Holmes and Dario Saric.

Okafor would be a logical fit for the Bulls not only because of his ties to Chicago but also because he would bring some much-needed offensive punch to their frontcourt.

Taj Gibson, Robin Lopez and Nikola Mirotic are averaging 30.4 points per game combined for Chicago, and there is little depth behind them.

While Okafor's production has dropped off to 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game this season due largely to Embiid's emergence, he put up 17.5 points and 7.0 boards per contest as a rookie in 2015-16.

The 28-29 Bulls are clinging to the No. 7 position in the Eastern Conference, and while Okafor isn't likely to make them serious contenders, adding him to a core that includes Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade could at least help them become a tougher out during the postseason.

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